SEDGEMOOR DISTRICT COUNCIL
Mark and Wedmore Ward
Polly Costello – email@example.com 01934 713564
Will Human – firstname.lastname@example.org 01278 641795
There were two Full Council meetings before Christmas including an important budget approval. Part of that budget was the proposed allowances for 2019.
There was some controversy sparked by a small number of local Councillors who objected to the level of increase for the Executive that was accepted by the Council. It is therefore worth providing the Parish with the facts behind the increases.
Allowances for Councillors are recommended to Sedgemoor District Council by an Independent Remuneration Panel, which is made up of independent business representatives and members of the community. The Panel recommended that all members of Council (cross party) received a 2% pay rise. Members had deferred any increases in their allowances until staff had received the nationally negotiated pay rises for public sector workers. This allowance is known as the Basic Allowance and is paid to all members. Executive members and committee chairmen (and their deputies) also receive a Special Responsibility Allowance for their additional duties as well as the Basic Allowance. Until now, this allowance was set at around £6,000 per annum. The new rate is to be set at £9,000 per annum. This appears quite a large increase but the Panel considered that this allowance was inadequate for the number of hours that the post required and that Executive members actually input into the role.
Based on 35 hours a week, an Executive Members' allowance comes in at £5.40 per hour. Given the number of hours worked by Executive members, which were verified by the Independent Panel, the allowance does not even take the 'wage' up to the level of the Living Wage Foundation from 1st January 2019 of £9.00 per hour.